The Mutarara District of Mozambique is not an easy place to find on the map. One must follow the border of Malawi down to its southern-most tip and follow the Shire River to where it meets the Zambezi River. The convergence of these two rivers makes Mutarara both a place brimming with agricultural potential and a location vulnerable to flooding. Locals will tell you to expect a large-scale flood every 30 years. Recently we were reminded of this statement. In January of 1978 Mozambique experienced a devastating flood. This past January they experienced another on a similar scale.

In light of the extensive flooding that occurred in the Mutarara District, World Renew was contacted by one of their local partners and asked to assist in both the relief and recovery needs of the communities. This partner, Igreja Reformada em Mocambique (the Reformed Church of Mozambique), has worked with World Renew since 1994.

World Renew committed to a relief project that began in April 2008 and finished at the end of August 2008. The project focused on three communities within the Mutarara District: Charre, Inhamgoma and Nhamayabwe.

Beneficiaries of this project are families who lost all or close to all their crops due to the floods. The local community helped identify families who were particularly vulnerable–households that included widows, the elderly, or people with disabilities.  2,000 families received seed and tools in time to invest in a “second season” and food supplies that helped maintain their strength in the interim.